You’ve experienced a rough patch at work. Rough patches exist for many reasons and can happen when you least expect it (or want it). Things are going along fine, you feel you have that “balance” thing everyone says is important; work and home life are going well, and whammo. Rough patch. Yet you’ve decided to stay with your current employer despite this experience. You recognize the benefits of staying outweigh the rough patch…and yet you cannot seem to get past that period of time when neither your needs nor your expectations were meet by the organization you trusted. It keeps coming up for you, building resentment, frustration and disappointment, affecting your well-being and getting in the way of being able to trust again.
No one makes the decision to stay with an employer who has breached some aspect of their trust lightly. It is a decision full of anguish. Once that decision is made what follows is the hope that everything will go back to the way it was before. On this path of hope arise new expectations; acknowledgement from your employer that mistakes were made, there may even be expectations of an apology. This is dangerous territory, because none of those things may be possible. Not that there shouldn’t be apologies and acknowledgments when trust is broken, but this is murky territory where your employer may have no real idea how you were impacted or how you perceived the breech of trust. Thinking “How could they not know?” is not the same as having a clear, compassionate, conversation with your employer about the rough patch, while remaining open to understanding all sides of it (their side may be very different). Your employer may have no idea what you went through.
Or perhaps they do and conversations were had, your manager was aware of your concerns and addressed them…but your manager was not the problem, and as far as you can see you are at risk of being impacted again by something similar because there are no assurances the same set of circumstance will not arise again to create another rough patch. You have a concern with someone outside of your sphere of influence and you have no idea how to resolve these feelings of resentment without coming off, well, resentful. It’s a tough spot to both be in and be productive at work (never mind feeling good about yourself in your work).
Consider owning your truth in all of this, which means figuring out specifically how the impact of this made you feel (“I felt disrespected” is a truth statement giving you something material to discuss; “You disrespected me” is a judgment that will inflame an already emotional situation). Once in touch with your truth, look at your expectations and find out how well they will serve you in the conversations you need to have; are they based on truth or judgment? Are they based on need or desire? Is compassion present for you and your employer? Only when you can look at the rough patch with objectivity and compassion is it wise to initiate conversations to explore what went wrong and how to prevent future breeches of trust. You never forget the way a breech of trust made you feel, but much like a tree growing around a foreign object without letting it impede it’s quality of life, so to do breeches of trust diminish in time; never disappearing but because our experience grows around them, they take up less and less space within us, allowing us to move on.
Other blogs you may find useful:
How The Truth Sets You Free (At Work)
I Want To Stay Where I Work (But It Might Be Time To Go)
Getting Over A Toxic Employer
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I believe in empowering others in many tangible ways. When I learn new career strategies or see something that might help others, I share it using my blog and website.